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How to start a new iCloud Photos library without it merging with the old one? #1
mikebhm's picture
by mikebhm
May 29, 2016 - 10:04pm

I started my iCPL in Jan 2015. It is now 104Gb/8000 pics. In a years time I will be needing to upgrade my iCloud storage plan. 

So I am thinking I would like to make the existing one an ordinary Photos library, and start a new iCloud Photos Library. 

If I start a new library now and make it the iCPL, it will merge with the existing iCPL. I would like it to replace the existing one in iCloud. 

I could do it (I think) by:- 

1. Make the existing one non-iCPL and rename it. 
2. Create a new Photos lib and make it the iCloud system library. 
3. The new (empty) library will upload and merge with the old one in iCloud, so it will now contain all 8000 photos from the original lib. 
4. Delete all 8000 photos in the new one. 
5. Start putting new photos in the now empty iCloud Photos library. 

Is there a better way? Am I making it too difficult? 

I can see what I described above taking long time to settle down across all devices, although I can avoid waiting the 30 days by deleting from the Recently Deleted folder. 


PhotoJoseph's picture
by PhotoJoseph
June 2, 2016 - 4:20pm

Interesting; I've never thought of having to do this.

Turns out you can go to and connect to your Photos library. Go to the All Photos view, enable Select, click on the first image, scroll down and shift-click on the last, then hit the delete button. You should see this:

I only tried on a single photo but it appears that it'd work on many!

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mikebhm's picture
by mikebhm
June 2, 2016 - 6:22pm

Joseph, thanks

That is the identical  message you get if you delete from the mac. But I agree there might be some advantage in doing it from as it is certainly the place to check if really is empty before starting to use it as the new library. One would still need to delete again from “recently deleted” to avoid the 30 day wait. 

However, after thinking some more and some discussion on Apple Support Communities, I am veering towards more of a rolling approach to keeping the size of the iCloud library down. IE duplicate the existing library and make it non iCloud. Then edit the duplicate so that it contained all 2015 photos. Rename it “Photos 2015”

Then I would delete all 2015 photos from the iCloud Library so it would only contain 2016 photos.

Then repeat at intervals, maybe again this time next year.

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